Cheek augmentation is a surgical procedure performed to address the problem of sunken cheeks or facial hollows for either reconstructive or cosmetic reasons.
What is cheek augmentation?
Cheek augmentation or cheek implant surgery helps to restore lost volume and improves the patient’s facial contours. Facial implants that are used to enhance the cheeks come in a variety of sizes, shape, and style. The choice depends on the desired change for each patient undergoing the surgery.
Aging, congenital conditions, and injuries are some of the factors that may lead to less desired contours or deficient facial structures. Facial asymmetry and lack of proportionate facial features can be corrected through cheek augmentation. The procedure may also be performed in combination with other procedures such as chin augmentation or facelift. It all depends on the facial improvements needed to improve the patient’s facial balance.
Am I a good candidate?
A good candidate will be looking to have more defined and fuller cheeks to improved facial balance. Since the cheeks must be proportionate to other facial features, if your chin is weak or receding you may also require chin augmentation performed. A qualified surgeon will examine your cheeks and the other facial features making use of photos or even computer imagery. That will help you agree with the surgeon the change that is needed so that the right cheek implant size, style, and shape or any other cheek augmentation procedure is chosen.
You must be in good health without any pre-existing medical conditions that may impair healing. The doctor will examine taking into account your medical history. The doctor will also have to find out if you have any existing bone disorders that may not make you qualify for the surgery. Your entire facial structure and skin will be examined as well. You must have a positive outlook and have realistic expectations about what the surgery can help you accomplish. The procedure is meant to improve rather than give you the perfect facial balance. Being mentally and emotionally strong is also very important before undergoing the surgery, because during the recovery period you may get some depression. You will need to remain calm and stable until you fully recover.
Your cheek augmentation surgery will begin with the administration of anesthesia that is supposed to make you comfortable during the procedure. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you, either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. Your vital stats will remain monitored before, during and after your surgery. The entire surgery may take between 1 and 2 hours, or even more in case of revision surgery or reconstructive procedures.
Depending on what you agree with the surgeon, the incision will either be made inside the mouth (intraoral) or externally near your eyes. The intra oral incision is made at the top of your upper gum line from where a cheek implant can be slide into place. Many patients do not prefer the method involving an external incision near the eyes as it leaves visible scarring. However, the incision inside the upper mouth also increases the risk of infection due to the presence of bacteria.
Your board certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Bloch, will place the cheek implant either on top or right below the cheekbone. During the operation, the implant may severally be removed and customized to make sure it gives you the desired looks in the end. Once placed, the implant may be secured with sutures or screws. That can also be achieved using dissolvable stitches made to the surrounding tissues. The implant itself may not be sutured, but rather its pocket, in which case the collagen of your body will keep it in place. Your surgeon will then use non-dissolvable sutures to close your incisions.
Other options to implants
Other options for cheek augmentation include fat transfer or injecting fat from elsewhere in the body to augment the cheeks. Still other options include the use of injectable fillers
After the surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room where your vital stats continue to be monitored as you recovery from the effects of anesthesia. You may have a pressure dressing that is wrapped around your head. As the anesthesia effects wear off, you may feel tightness and tenderness on your face. Pain is also normal, but medication should be prescribed to relieve it. You will be given specific instructions on how to take care of your surgical sites until you recover. You may be instructed to go to bed while wearing a head wrapping that helps the cheek implants to heal well in place. Antibiotic medications may also be prescribed to help minimize any risk of infection.
You will be told about any concerns you should look out for when released to go home so that you may contact the surgeon immediately for help. Ask every question on what you should expect during your recovery. The doctor should also let you know when you are expected to make a follow-up. You may be released to go home just a few hours after surgery, but someone should help drive you home. Although, the recovery period varies from patient to patient, in most cases it takes about ten days.
Schedule Your Consultation at our Office
For men and women in that are interested in getting rhinoplasty, Dr. Bloch offers a consultation at his Highland Park office but he has many patients that come from Lake Forest, Highland Park, Glenview, Glencoe, Wilmette, Lake Forest, Winnetka, Deerfield and North Shore areas. His offices are located not far from the city, for more information, click to schedule your consultation or call us at 1-847-432-0840.
More about Dr. Steven Bloch
Dr. Bloch is a board-certified plastic surgeon that has more than 30 years experience in the cosmetic field. In addition to offering rhinoplasty, he offers a facelift as well as a chin augmentation or cheek implants. Dr. Bloch is a renowned surgeon and facial plastic surgery specialist that also specializes in a forehead lift or eyelid lift. To learn more about this procedure, call Body by Bloch.